what to do about "survival guilt"

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We've only been on the internet a few months, and while exploring the web, found Y2K sites sites with info that caused us to become GI's right away. We live in a rural area where, with almost every storm, the power goes out. So, we bought a generator, Y2K or no. Our property is wooded, so we installed a woodstove and have a good supply of firewood with more to come. We've been preparing now for the past 5 months. But to come to the point of all this: how do you deal with the feelings of guilt that you may survive any disruptions better than most, if not all, of your loved ones? We have spoken to relatives and friends, given them print-outs of internet info, etc., etc., but all we get is ignored or outright ridicule. We have considered planning for "guests" if things get bad, but with a family of 6, plus pets, and one income at present, it doesn't look good. The guilt is awful.

-- kimmjoy (kimmjoy@aol.com), June 06, 1999


guilt?do you plan on turning them away?buy more rice and beans.at 12 bucks for 50 pounds you can feed quite a few hungry relatives.if you plan on turning people away,you better start hardening your heart

-- zoobie (zoobiezoob@yahoo.com), June 06, 1999.

Survive first, guilt second.

-- Barb (awaltrip@telepath.com), June 06, 1999.

Guilty? For What? You warn folks and they do nothing and you feel guilty? For what? Guilty that you were not more persuasive? bullcrap.

What happened to responsibility? They are responsible for their own lives, not you.

Any 'guilt' that you have is wholly self imposed.

example. You warn a person that a train is coming and to get off the tracks. He refuses because he can't see it yet. You plead with him to get off the tracks becuase it is a very fast train and that by the time he sees it he will not be able to get out of the way. Still he refuses. Then he gets hit. Should you have tackled him. physically forced him to safety because that is what you thought best AGAINST his judgement? No. He is free to make his own decisions. And he is responsible for the consequences.

YOU have a responsibility to warn people. THEY have the responsibility to take that info and do with it as they see fit. Quit wringing your hands over what other people do.

I have seven brothers and sisters and a mother who will do absolutely NOTHING. That is now THEIR problem. Is that heartless? Not in the least. They are responsible for their own actions and decisions and the consequences of them.

-- Paul Milne (fedinfo@halifax.com), June 06, 1999.

In theory, I agree with Paul. The rest of my family are DWGIs, but they do have preparations for earthquakes to last a while. I have to respect my elderly parent's and sister's judgement as competant adults. Of course, if they do come knocking, I will not turn them away. We can always ration ourselves to extend supplies. However, if it comes down to the welfare of my children or them, my kid's come first. That is a sacred responsibility I accepted when I became a parent that supercedes all other family loyalties.

-- marsh (armstrng@sisqtel.net), June 06, 1999.

I've tried to explain, in detail to family members, the Y2K situation in the most rational collected manner I'm capable of only to endure reciprocal indifference and/or scorn....no more.

They are all self-supporting adults, hence responsible for their own actions/inaction....zero guilt here.

-- Charles R. (chuck_roast@trans.net), June 06, 1999.

You know, I live a life without guilt or remorse. The way I do that is by not doing anything I'm going to feel guilty about or regret later. If I do it, I'm 'right' with it first.

That said, there are some close relatives whom I've informed that they are NOT welcome to stay here. Not because I'm holding some grudge against them, but because I believe they would be a disruptive force in an already very stressful situation. Better that they make plans somewhere else now than be thrown out later in the midst of Y2K chaos. And yes, if they do show up I will turn them away.

Sound cold hearted? Maybe, but I'm just being pragmatic and trying to do whatever I can to plan for getting from point A (start of Y2K problems) to point B (things get back to normal). I don't like having to make this choice but it really is the best way to go for my situation. I firmly believe that...


-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), June 06, 1999.

On this, I agree with Paul completely. I've given the people I care about the information that led me to prepare, and I've made it abundantly clear that I take it seriously and I'm acting on it. If they think I'm nuts and ignore it, it's not my problem. I've done what I can. If they turn out to be right, we'll all be glad. If they're wrong, they can fend for themselves. It was their *informed* choice.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), June 06, 1999.

I'm in complete agreement with Paul AND Flint (wink). Guilt? Get over it!

-- Will continue (farming@home.com), June 06, 1999.

This hard line wake up call may offend the poster. With all the "moderation" that's in store for the forum to make this a brighter, cleaner,nicer world for lurkers/visitors, can we continue to be so frank?

They've chosen to prepare, they've chosen to feel guilt. But no one has survived anything yet, except possibly posting on this forum!

-- Barb (awaltrip@telepath.com), June 06, 1999.

kim: A previous thread on the subject:

Y2K Survivor's Guilt

-- a (a@a.a), June 06, 1999.

I think anyone who has a problem functioning after a disaster like y2k are the same people who beckoned for a sleepy little blanket of political correctness across the globe. Ha! ...get rid of the tyrants but heaven forbid anyone gets hurt in the process. We can fight a war on drugs but don't let anyone find out that the CIA/FBI/DEA and ATF are fighting on both sides. Clinton can emotionaly speak out about high school violence when he is right in the middle of bombing whats left of the education system in Yugoslavia into anti-matter. The feminism, gay rights, save the teletubbies types are the ones who have really undermined freedom in this country. Where is our freedom to speak when we can't speak out against those who control our freedom to speak out? How is it possible to have a freedom when the government takes 1/3 of everything you make and uses it for something you don't like? That is not freedom, that is only 2/3 free. When we will get irked enough to fight back? When it's only 50% free? 10% free? When you you stop feeling guilty for defending what you beleive?

Post Y2K Guilt? Hell if it turns out as bad as most of you think it's only less work for me and the rest of America. I welcome Y2K and any other disaster that forces the Federal Government to come crashing down to a bitter end.

-- (Idq@businessnet.com), June 06, 1999.

--a , Read the thread myself and thought it helpful for all, thanks for the lead.

-- Barb (awaltrip@telepath.com), June 06, 1999.

Darwinian selection in action. Sit back and enjoy the show. Help those you want, turn away those you don't. Sound cold? Think for a moment; if you HELP those you want to, you won't feel guilty about them, and for those you turn away, you CERTAINLY won't feel guilty about THEM.

Just some random thoughts...

-- Dennis (djolson@pressenter.com), June 06, 1999.

Kimmjoy: Why cross that bridge before you get to it? There aren't any foregone conclusions to Y2K. It is next year, not now. Your loved ones might be fatter and/or happier this time next year. Or they might just be disgruntled and inconvenienced and poor by current standards. No big deal.

I am a "GI" as far as being prepped is concerned, but I think that doom and gloom for next year is far from certain. People lived through depressions before, and that is all I expect it to be. I'm not going to bet that it will only be that, so I am prepared for worse.

Guilt is something to avoid, (religious teachings notwithstanding). It is questionable whether "survival guilt" would be warranted even in the more serious possibilities, it certainly isn't warranted while the Y2K outcome is still in doubt.

As far as talking to DGI's; forget about the more serious stuff. Few people can imagine life without electricity or government, and if they can't imagine it they can't believe it is possible. When I talk to people I talk about the economic side only. Fuel prices, JIT inventories, slowdowns, etc. It makes sense to prepare for higher fuel prices, which means higher prices for just about everything - especially food. For example, if you convince them that canned goods and produce might greatly increase in cost, then they might stock up.

Whatever preps you have for keeping your house warm will only be made easier by extra warm bodies. Storing bleach for drinking water is easy even for hundreds of people. There are things you can do to prepare to help more than just you and yours. The local salvation army here sells bales of clothes (like 60 - 70 pieces) for $3 and had a 50% off sale, and the salvage place next to it sells 55 gallon drums for $5 if you buy 10 or more. So in additon to our personal preps we have barrels full of clothes we can share. If things aren't so bad I know a charity that'll take them all.

Y2K prep first means staying safe (and helping others stay safe), then it means preserving wealth. It shouldn't mean guilt.

-- Gus (y2kk@usa.net), June 06, 1999.

My responses are perhaps slightly different, due mostly to the distance that most of my relatives live from here.

(1) Consider adding additional preparations for late arrivals. As was mentioned earlier, the cost of dried foods is relatively small. A larger household makes for a more efficient division of labor...he can be feeding the chickens, another finding coconuts, yet another weeding the garden, while I am fishing, etc. Some things will require little additional storage (same number of oil lamps, same amount of kerosine, etc. We (two) are planning on up to 10. More than a bit tight, but we could have a very potent household.

(2) Worry about guilt after survival. You can't be guilty unless you survive in the first place.

(3) If you have warned them, do not worry...it is their responsibility to take care of themselves. A different situation exists if they cannot do much for themselves (retirees, welfare recipients, college students with little/no income, etc.). In that situation, if you have some responsibility (especially parents, children, etc.), plan on doing what you can.

(4) Unique Situation: We will probably have a large number of tourists on Kauai. When the excretia hits the rotating air handler, they may not all be able to get back home in a timely manner. They may require assistance. Some of our preparations may be earmarked (via the church) for this contingency.

-- Mad Monk (madmonk@hawaiian.net), June 07, 1999.

The best advice I have read yet is from a book called Wolf And Iron by Gordon R. Dickson....... "There is a point in which charity becomes unnecessary sacrifice and unnecessary sacrifice becomes self destruction." You get to decide where that point is for you, I get to decide where that point is for me. I try to keep it in mind when I talk to friends and family and they laugh or sneer.

Best wishes.

-- Juniper (silverfox@netutah.com), June 07, 1999.

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